40 years! It’s hard to believe it, but that is how old ASNS will turn on January 31, 2023. 40 years of supporting Nova Scotians on the dementia journey. 40 years of impact.
As we recognize past successes – and look ahead to our next 40 years – we wanted to take a moment to honour the beginnings of our own journey as a Society.
It truly all began 40 years ago this month, on May 12, 1982.
In those days, there was little support for people with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers. And it was difficult to find information.
Phyllis Horton was one of those caregivers who needed support, after her husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 1980. With very little information available, she contacted the Alzheimer Society in Toronto, and they suggested setting up a local society.
She turned to Constance Baird and local geriatrician Dr. John Gray. The three met on May 12, 1982, for coffee to discuss organizing this new society. It was made clear from day one that support was required across the province and not just in Halifax.
40 years later, and here we are – committed to advancing the vision of these incredible individuals and supporting people living with dementia in all corners of our province.
The Phyllis Horton Student Research Award is still awarded annually for excellence in dementia research. The McGrath-Baird Prize in Gerontology is awarded at Mount Saint Vincent University. Dr. John Gray – who passed away in 2021 – is the inspiration for our work in supporting Nova Scotians in obtaining a timely diagnosis. Their names and their legacies will live on in the work we do, and the impacts we continue to have thanks to their dedication and vision.
We look forward to sharing more of our history as a Society as we embark on our 40th birthday year!
*Photos and details in this article from Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia: The History 1982-1999, written by D.J. Pass & Karim Mukhida.